Odisha ex-minister launches party

Odisha ex-minister launches party

Rajya Sabha member and rebel Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Pyarimohan Mohapatra on Tuesday launched a new political party called Odisha Jana Morcha.

He was thrown out of the ruling regional outfit in Odisha last year for anti-party activities.

Mohapatra told a news conference here that the Election Commission (EC) had been moved for the registration of the new political outfit and sanction of a party symbol. “We have already furnished our application with the EC who would be granting us a party symbol subsequently,” the former BJD heavyweight said.

Mohapatra, once known as the second-in-command in the BJD after party president Naveen Patnaik, was sacked from the regional outfit in the middle of last year for orchestrating a failed midnight coup to remove Patnaik from the chief minister’s post and topple his government.

The new party has elected him president, Mohapatra said. A vice-president, a general secretary and the treasurer of the party have also been elected.

Mohapatra said his party’s principal aim “is be to defeat the ruling BJD. Our main aim will be to throw the present ‘British rule’ in Odisha out.”

The new outfit will field candidates in all the 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state during the coming elections, in alliance with some like-minded political parties. “We are hopeful of winning 80 to 85 Assembly seats,” Mohapatra claimed.
The BJD said the formation of the new outfit would have no impact on the party.

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